God’s desire for us to Prosper

In this article I want to emphasize how God does want to do good things for us. We can believe this even in the face of terrible pain we may have been suffering, for reasons I outline below.
God has made us in such a way that when our bodies and minds are not in a right way, we normally feel pain. Its also normal to feel pain when we suffer some kind of loss – financial loss, the loss of a loved one, or rejection by someone we like.

Perhaps you have a lot of pain in your life even now. My wife and I have faced some pain recently, and this is common enough. The first thing to realise is that pain is there for a reason. It shows us that something is wrong. Certainly something is wrong with the world. That is obvious. And sometimes that is why we feel pain. We also feel pain because of what others do – we see something is wrong with them. But if we are honest, we will realise that in many ways we are just like others. Many times something is wrong with us. God uses pain to give us a strong motivation to fix what is wrong.

If God did not make these problems painful, I think we would be pretty happy to live with them. We would accept destruction and disorder if they had no potential to cause us pain. So the existence of pain itself is a good thing. It provides us with a strong incentive to get things RIGHT, so that the pain can be removed.

God is very interested in things being RIGHT, thats why he allows pain. The Bible says about God that “righteousness” and “justice” are the foundation of His throne. So God is very interested in things being “right”. God wants us to have a right relationship with ourselves, with others and most of all with Him. To help us to have that relationship He has communicated with us through the Bible.

The Heart of God

The Bible says in 3 John 2, “Beloved, in regard to all things I pray that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”

What God wants for us is for things to go well. He doesn’t enjoy inflicting pain on people for no reason. The word here translated pray can also be translated “wish” or “desire”. It is God’s desire that we prosper, that things go well, that we be in health. God is a good God. He loves us and desires good things for us – even as a good father desires good for his children. His basic desire for us is that we be healthy in body, mind and spirit, and even that we enjoy the fulfilment that comes from achieving great things. But even before all that, God wants our love as obedient children. He wants us to have the right attitudes, motivations, desires and thoughts. When we have these, it can truly be said of us that “our souls prosper”. When we don’t, God will use discipline, even as a father would. Please note the verse again, “I pray that you prosper and be in health, EVEN AS YOUR SOUL PROSPERS.” If your soul is not prospering – if your thinking is seriously wrong in God’s eyes – then He won’t be ready to heal you and make your life prosper. In fact, He might even allow a very painful thing in your life in order to get your attention. This he will do whether you are a Christian believer or not.

God said through the prophet Isaiah, “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword”. (Isaiah 1:19, 20). This verse tells us that God will bless those who are willing and obedient to Him – even to the point of giving us the BEST food to eat and the BEST things to enjoy. But it also shows that there are some people who know God well enough that God will even let them be killed if they steadfastly refuse to listen or obey God. Before it gets to this stage however, usually less drastic means are employed by God. In this passage God was dealing with a very stubborn people who already knew His law, and knew what He had done for them. God will not speak like this to people who have never known His works, or His commandments or His nature. But He will permit suffering in people’s lives so they may not remain content to live their lives in ignorance of the true God.

Perhaps you have suffered a terrible loss. I want to assure you that God is not against you. He can restore your situation. But He wants you to stop ignoring His Word. To truly prosper from now on you are going to need to pay attention to God’s Word.

Pain exists because somehow we are no longer in harmony with God’s divine will. Sometimes this is within our power to correct, and sometimes it is not. If we are willing to do our part, God will help us to correct those things which lie within our power. But if we pray in the right way, God will intervene to help make things right which we ourselves cannot fix.

Nothing is beyond God’s power. It is for this reason that we pray. The Bible says in Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Our God created the Heavens and the Earth and has infinite understanding. Just by speaking He creates! He can do anything! But will He do something for you? Does He want to? The Bible shows that God wants us to prosper and be in health AS OUR SOULS PROSPER. For your soul to prosper in God’s eyes, you will need to learn how to think and how to live from God. God is willing to get involved with you and bless you if you will trust Him enough to sincerely ask Him to do so.

What I have seen in my own life helps to confirm this. Many times God has provided money or opportunities for me when every way seemed to be closed. I have seen what God has done for others, in healing them of their diseases. I’ve prayed for people with all kinds of diseases and God has instantly healed them. These things are not possible for me to do, but God can do anything when we invite Him in and let Him lead the way. I have found that these things have happened as fulfilments of specific promises that I have found in the Bible. If you find promises in the Bible and meet the conditions, God will do something great for you also!

When we pray we recognise that we need God. God likes people who recognise that they need Him. This is true humility. God does not like it when people reject Him and try to live their life without any dependence on Him. This way of being is very close to what the Bible means when it talks about SIN. Sin is the principle of disobedience, pride, rebellion, unbelief and ingratitude towards God which places SELF above God and usually above other people as well. If SIN is eliminated from our soul, then nothing is impossible to us because we are living in total harmony with God and our faith will be the same faith that is in Jesus Christ.

I encourage you to seek to know this God for yourself, to come into a relationship with Him. He has revealed Himself through Jesus Christ, who went about doing good and healing ALL who were oppressed by the devil. (Acts 10:38). Jesus showed us just how kind God can be to those who come to Him for help. No matter how bad your disease or how hopeless the situation, Jesus can turn it around if you call upon His name. Determine to know Jesus, be persistent in that determination, and you will see God’s blessing in your life.

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. alethesia dipsos says:

    Thank you for the post, I was encouraged by much of what was written by you.
    My study of the scriptures have not led me to the same conclusions you have come to understand.
    As far as God wanting us to prosper, I have no doubt. But how? And in what way? Prosperity can take many forms. I am not clear as to what exactly you are meaning by that one but,
    I think verses need to be in context at all times. I don’t feel safe claiming promises for my own that God made with Israel. Nor would I feel completely comfortable claiming as a universal truth a wish that John sends to Gaius in his letter. Rather, I take to the bank those statements which are made more clear and obviously intended to ring through the ages, such as:

    2 Timothy 3:12
    “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted”

    We have been guaranteed a difficult time, that is if you are walking as you should. However, the good news is that no matter what we go through, we still can find joy and peace.

    1Peter 4:13
    “But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation”

    We are also told to be “of sober spirit” (1 Pet. 5:8)

    Paul also says,
    “We are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:16-17)

    Additionally, what if God’s idea (or will) for ME to prosper means he wants me to spend my life tending to and caring for a leper? That would still fit God’s idea of prospering but is a little different than the picture I was seeing in the post.

    Regarding health — I do not think I have seen it plainly stated anywhere that God wishes that we all be healthy…
    I also think it’s a VERY bold statement for you to make when you stated,

    “Sometimes this is within our power to correct, and sometimes it is not. If we are willing to do our part, God will help us to correct those things which lie within our power. But if we pray in the right way, God will intervene to help make things right which we ourselves cannot fix”

    I would not feel so comfortable making such public promises on behalf of God, but then – perhaps your faith is stronger – I have a mind to believe that perhaps God asks, demands, wills, plans, etc. Different things from different people. And IF God should will that some should remain unhealthy until they die or are caught up in the rapture, does that mean they are living in sin?
    I don’t think that.
    Thank you again for the post, I was encouraged and you also challenged my own beliefs which I Love! Please help me understand if I have misread your intended message and please forgive me if I am myself off base (I often am)

  2. amen and amen.. and also it brings to mind that when we truly live our lives for our Lord and see to the needs of his children that all of our needs are taken care of. I am a living witness of that and give God praise and thanks.

  3. Yes that is true, a follower of Jesus must sometimes give up all that he has in this world. But that does not mean ALWAYS having nothing. Gaius in 3 John 2, the person to whom the apostle John wrote, obviously had a house which he was using for hospitality in the Lord’s work. He was ABLE to send preachers off with some money for their trip. You cannot do that unless you have some money.

    The thing about giving up all wealth was not preached in every message of the apostles in the Book of Acts. Right now I cannot think of any where it WAS preached. But following Jesus means giving your life to Jesus, and sometimes the Lord will demand that one gives up everything and SELLS it. Other times possessions may be kept in stewardship for God’s use as and when He requires.

    God’s intention still remains that his followers have all they need so that they can be generous on every occasion.

  4. When a man asked Jesus what more he should do to be sure he made it into heaven, Jesus said to sell everything that he had and give the money to the poor didn’t he?

    • alethesia dipsos says:

      Again I feel the need to bring context into the equation – why did Jesus tell THAT particular man to sell all his possessions AND is this what’s required of us all?

      What transpired prior to Jesus’s command to this man?
      Assuming we are all talking about the rich young ruler in Matthew 19
      The man had said,
      “What good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” Matt 19:16
      An honest question…
      Jesus answered:
      “… If you wish to enter life, keep the commandments”
      Matt 19:17
      An impossible task but a square answer… THEN this man eventually CLAIMS,
      “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Matt 19:20
      Jesus answered:
      “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me”
      “But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving ; for he was one who owned much property” Matt 19: 21-22
      What this story tells me is:
      NOT that being rich is sinful
      Nor is having money something to repent of
      What it tells me is this:
      God knows what we covet most. In the story, the rich young ruler was arrogant enough to claim that he HAD upheld the commandments. Quite an audacious claim. So much so, that Christ knowing what HIS one thing was (money) gave him the order he feared, sell your stuff! It was probably the ONE thing that would cause that man to withhold.
      God wants that ONE thing from us.
      Maybe it’s not money, maybe it is. Maybe it is television or internet or fame or pride, etc. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his one favored and treasured possession: the heir to his works of faith, the fulfillment of God’s promise – God asked him to kill him for God – and Abraham, knowing that God could raise the dead, was going to do it! That is faith!!!
      God ended up providing the sacrifice for Abraham, how might He do the same for us if we would give Him our most valued possessions?

  5. The really classy people do not carry a lot of cash on them. Their name is enough. In the case of Jesus, he could arrange for the feeding of 5000 men and their families with almost no apparent resources present.

    Godly prosperity will operate differently to the prosperity of Babylon.

    Jesus said that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.

    It is therefore not vital to have a big bank balance or vast real estate or stock holdings to be prosperous. What is needed is the ability to be generous on every occasion so that the will of God gets done.

  6. It is so simple.

    Was Jesus the Christ prosperous during His presence in this World ?

    Again, we the Believers must define PROSPERITY which is positively different from that of this World. We are a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.

    Therefore, all Believers must know the prosperity now as a Co-Heir of Christ.

    Do Saints, suffer for their faith in Jesus Christ or do they enjoy and celebrate the suffering with songs and praises joyfully?

    The early we feed ourselves on SOLID MEAT the more matured and blessed we are in CHRIST JESUS.

    God bless.

  7. It is true that some brothers and sisters are suffering BECAUSE of their faith and love for God. There are people persecuting them. Persecuting Christians is a sin. Now, is it God’s will for this sin to be happening?

    I myself don’t like to talk in terms of prosperity as a “right”. But it is God’s general desire for mankind. The BIBLE says concerning the man who meditates on God’s Word day and night, “WHATEVER HE DOES SHALL PROSPER” (Psalm 1:3). If we are not comfortable with the promises of God it is not because those promises are false.

    Prosperity is not about accumulating luxuries and toys. A person who is being persecuted can prosper in the work of the Lord. Paul did. He achieved his purpose. Obviously, in an environment where one’s property can be confiscated for being an active Christian it is pretty foolish to major on accumulating wealth. True prosperity is to do the will of God and finish the assignment God gives you.

    Even if we are not prospering and everything seems to be going rotten it does not mean that we are necessarily more disobedient than anyone else. It is not so simple. There are times of going through trials and sometimes we will suffer loss for a SEASON, as Job did. But we do well to remember that in Job’s case God gave him much more than he had lost in the end.

    Most of the time when we lose things it is because of our foolishness, our lack of wisdom. I can say that it has been like that in my life, at least.

    I hope you will understand what I am saying and take note that I do not endorse what every so called prosperity preacher has said or will say. There is false teaching amongst some of them.

    Trust the devil to muddy the waters in an area of critical importance to the spreading of the gospel in the last days.

  8. Eunice Ann Carr says:

    I have re-read my comment and abide by what I have written. thankyou for the opportunity to do so, Eunice

  9. Eunice Ann Carr says:

    This article disturbed me somewhat! I guess I’ve always been very “sus” about ‘prosperity” teaching and some things said herein I could not feel comfortable with. Some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering at this very moment, not thru’ ‘not being right with God” but from persecution, BECAUSE of their faith and love for God. The sun and rain falls on the just and unjust, without rain, there’s no rainbows. “Tho’ He slay me yet will I serve Him!” NOT just when things are going well for me but when it looks and feels as tho’ He has forgotten me and I don’t hear from Him…if I receive “prosperous things”, including health, then that’s a bonus! But if I expect it as my “right” that I’ve earned it by shedding sins then what happens to my “faith” when trials, persecution PAIN comes? The idea that good things will be my lot IF and WHEN I’m sin-free does not sit comfortably within my spirit. I felt to share that I felt uneasy with this article. Kind regards, Eunice

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